AGM Wrap Up & 2018 Season Announcements!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2017 Sailing Season and for everyone who who made the trip to Loudoun County for the AMG. It was a fantastic turnout and a great party. It was especially exciting to see so many of the new members and family at the AGM! Our fleet has some of the best members, if you have not had the change to share a beer and get to know some of our new boat owners, you definitely add that to your list this spring!

Upcoming Events: 

  1. Fleet Tune-Up Day: Saturday March 11:00-2:00pm
    Come down to the marina on Saturday to get your boat cleaned up, tuned up & ready for racing…Several of our local experts have offered to be at the marina and help get masts stepped & be available to help with tuning questions. Special thanks to Aaron, Nabeel, Bobby who have offered to assist our fleet members. I would strongly encourage everybody to print out the North Tuning Guide or have it available on a mobile device. Both the Fisher and the M5 systems are covered in that tuning guide, and it’d be good for folks to be familiar with the basic steps so that we can provide the best advice in the time that we will have. Since it is still early in the season, the marina may not have the water turned on by the 31st, so make sure to bring all of the supplies you need to work on your boat.
  2. First Away Regatta: Moonshine, Smith Mountain Lake, (April 14-15)
    Randy Beauchamp, who will be hosting the Moonshine Regatta this year has coordinated with the UVA Sailing Team and has up to 10 UVA college sailors who would like to sail on Lightnings at the event. If you are are interested in having one of the college sailors on your team, please let me know! This is a great “One More Regatta” to attend. Never traveled, need crew, would like to crew…If you have any questions or reservations, please let me know, there lots of resources available to help you get to this event!
  3. Lighting Fleet 50 will host Dixie Districts / Potomac Cup (Jun 16-17, 2018)
    Due to the limited resources with planning two large regattas within 3 weeks, we are hosting a combined Dixie District/Doc Gilbert Regatta at Leesylvania State Park this year only.

AGM Meeting Highlights
Lightning Fleet 50 had a great racing season, with a total of 61 races completed as part of the scored racing season. We had great participation in 2017. Of the 21 boats on the roster, we would usually have between 5-9 boats out racing on any given Sunday (a max of 11 boats during one Sunday!). We usually have more than 10+ participating in our 2-day regattas. For our annual Doc Gilbert Potomac Cup Regatta, we welcomed boats from around the Dixie District and even had one boat from Florida (Thanks Bill!) to sail at the beautiful Leesylvania State Park. This past year, our attendance was down by 5 boats, as we only had 16 participants compared to 21 boats in 2016. This season, we continued a regular practice of gathering around the BBQ grill after the racing to trade stories about starts, mark roundings, and other tall tales from the racing.

For the 2017 Racing Season…We had 14 boats participate, [14] were active and [10] qualified for the 2017 Championship Series. We had 10 boats travel to at least 1 away regatta in 2017!

The Mantra for 2018: One More Regatta!

And the winner is…Congratulations to the 2017 Fleet 50 Championship Series

Nabeel Alsalam on Shadowfax (15142) for winning the 2017 Fleet 50 Championship Series.
John Van Voorhis on Shamrock (15117) took 2nd place, moving up 2 spots from his 2016 finishing position.
Bobby Astrove (7603) once again held 3rd place overall in 2017.
Lindsay Bach on Lightning Bug (14221) finished 4th moving up 6 spots from 2016 and
Aaron Boesenecker on Beedobeat (14592) finished in fifth place.

Complete 2017 season results:

Other Fleet Awards:
Best New Crew: Gigi & Quinton Bishop

Most Improved Crew: [No one was nominated]

High Impact Crew: Jess Harrington

Team Spirit Skipper: Frank Gallagher

Congeniality Award: Geoff Fuller

Most Improved Skipper: Lindsay Bach

Skipper of the Year: Aaron Boesenecker

Fleet 50 Helper Award: Red Fehrle & Suz Humphrey

Bungle Bucket: Tie, Will Summers & Jeff Whiten

Bloody Rudder Award: Lisa-Marie Lane

All Weather Sailor Award: Lisa-Marie Lane

Iron Skipper Award: Bobby Astrove

Fleet 50 welcomed 5 new members (to make 21 boats listed on the roster)

We were excited to see new boats on the water in 2017, and look forward to building on this momentum in 2018. This year we welcomed 5 new boats to our fleet:

#12416 Marcols Ilosa & Joe Ament
#14318 Jeff Witten
#14187 Geof Bishop, who bought Bobby’s old boat,
who sails with his kids Quinton & Gigi
#14532 Will Summers, Thanks to Frank Galagher the Lightning whisper
who is rescued Boonoonoonos in the Fall of 2016
#14566 Kevin Wagerson, who bought Frank’s old boat and co-skippers with his son Karl

Sadly, we will be losing a boat (not members)
#14100 Red & Suz Fehrle who are selling their boat.

“Just Launched…”
Fleet 50 is continuing the Lightning tradition of family sailors. We are so happy to welcome two of our newest members:

Will & Megan Summers welcomed Charlie Summers born on November 13th, 2017.

Brian & Megan Lawrence would like to introduce Theodore “Theo” Samuel Lawrence born on December 22nd, 2017

Rocking the Boat…Fleet 50 donated $175 to the Hadley Green Rock the Boat in 2018 ($100 contribution from Fleet 50 and $75 in member contributions)

Many thanks to the Officers who served Fleet 50 in 2017:
Fleet Captain: Lisa-Marie Lane
Lieutenant for Racing: John Van Voorhis
Treasurer: Bob Gotthardt
Secretary: Geof Fuller
Scorer: Will Summers
Webmaster: pending (may reorganize w/ PRSA website)
Potomac Cup Regatta Chair: Jon Van Voorhis
Special Olympics Coordinator: Vacant / handled by Lieutenant for Racing
Training & Development Coord: Vacant / handled by Lieutenant for Racing

2018 Fleet 50 Slate of Officers:
Fleet Captain: Lisa-Marie Lane
Lieutenant for Racing: Jon Van Voorhis
Treasurer: Bob Gotthardt
Secretary & Scorer: Geoff Bishop
Webmaster: Jim Lane
Potomac Cup Regatta Chair: Aaron Boesenecker
Special Olympics Coordinator: Vacant / handled by Lieutenant for Racing
Training & Development Coord: Vacant / handled by Lieutenant for Racing

I am looking forward to serving as your Fleet Captain in 2018 & seeing everyone on the water for the Spring Season!

Sail Fast!

Lisa-Marie Lane
Fleet Captain, Lightning Fleet 50

Fall Series #8 and PRSA Annual General Meeting

Greetings Sailors,

Mark your calendars! 

This coming Sunday is the last day of racing for the fall series.  The forecast is for partly cloudy skies with a high of 52 and moderate winds from the south.  It it holds true, this should be a great day to end the season!  Then next Saturday is the PRSA Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet.  Visit the PRSA website for details and to sign up!

Racing Highlights…

Last weekend, team As You Wish…was in Hampton VA for the Fall Fling.  It was a great event with 2 days of racing and one of the highest turnouts in many years.  There were 7 Lightnings, and would have been 8, except 2 boats needed crew and had to combine boats.  Sat we had 5 hard races, the wind was predominately steady from the north winds from 15-20.  The steady breeze made the 5 races races very lively and tiring but never out of control or too much to handle.  Saturday night the Hampton Yacht Club members hosted an awesome Pot Luck/Oyster Roast at one of the member’s homes a few blocks away from the club.  By Sunday, the breeze was predicted to die all day following the front that came thru but it stayed in the 5-6 range and the RC was able to get in 2 additional races.  This was the prefect way to end the regatta, the temps were in the 70’s, most of us were wearing shorts and although the winds were light, no paddling was required!  Congrats again to the winners, Trevor Prior, Hans & Gary sailed well and placed 1st; Joe Bukowski, Ed Lane & Zack Bukowski came in 2nd and Team Hurban, Joan, Gary and Paulie Kaiser were a very close 3rd. (See the pics below).

Some winter thoughts…If you have not considered traveling to away regattas, please reconsider.  When Jim and I first joined Fleet 50 and were trying to “get the basics” of this incredibly humbling boat down, the number one recommendation to getting more experience by traveling to away regattas.  Although when we first considered traveling it was quite overwhelming, it has been the best thing we have done to gain experience.  If you have questions, just ask! There are many folks who will help with recommendations and procedures on traveling, stepping your mast, setting up your boat and all around cheerleads for new teams.  And most importantly, the host clubs are so excited to get more boats on the line!  You will find new friendships, lots of great sailing stories and invaluable knowledge.  Lightning sailors are a tight knit group that will go out of their way to support each other! 

Hope to see everyone Sunday!

Fall Series #4

The weather forecasts threatened rain and maybe even thunderstorms and the sky was gray.  But guess what?  No rain and the best breeze we’ve had all fall!   It was a small group of 5 Lightning and 2 Buccs at the Albacores were at West River for their Nationals and neither the I-20s or Multi-Hulls were there.   You guys missed out!

The RC gave us four W-2 courses set up on a southwesterly axis.  Jeff Neurauter, Heather Howard, Ben Arthur, and Ann Tyree ran race committee.  Tom Hutton did the scores (posted to the PRSA Website).  Thanks!

PRSA Fall Series #2: Challenging Conditions in Light Wind!

Here is the writeup from Geoff Bishop, 3rd place Lightning in Sunday’s Fall Series #3.  Geoff was sailing with his daughter, Gigi, and son Quentin.  Thank you, Geoff, for the writeup and great job to you and your crew for a 3rd on a very tough day! Please feel free to add your own comments and observations here as well.

Sit still and try to keep moving!  It was a fun day on the river but once again not much wind.  Sailing out to the course I was pleasantly surprised by a steady breeze but in the end the forecast for light and variable winds held true.  The race committee did a phenomenal job setting the marks and a square start line despite early engine problems.  Trying to recall the light air sailing lessons we learned last week, our strategy was simply to keep the boat moving.  We did our best to start the day’s only race on starboard with speed and footed nicely up the left side of the course.  When waves from boat traffic in the channel came by we footed even more in order to keep our boat moving through the chop.  Taking those waves head on in this light air would have been deadly.  Then the wind died and a breeze filled in on the right side of the course!  The boats that went right were heroes!  In retrospect the more dependable wind was probably coming down the Anacostia – on the right side of the course –  and I made a point of staying right on the next upwind leg.  The rest of the race seems a bit of a blur as we sat bobbing up and down, drifting under the blazing sun.  Somewhere along the way I recalled the saying: “the first shall be last and the last shall be first.”  This thought came to mind right about the time Shadowfax came scooting by us downwind with the spinnaker pulling and passing boats right and left.  With patience and perseverance we coaxed our boat forward and on the last downwind leg found a little breath of wind coming off the airport side of the river that we used to generate some momentum around the pin and into the final stretch.  The final leg of our race reminded me of rubber duckies floating in a bathtub.  We were near a group of about four lightnings just bobbing ever closer to the finish line – and in particular the leeward pin as the current was at least as strong as any “wind.”  By sheer luck we bobbed just ahead of Frank and Marianne (we had traded places back and forth with them most of the race) for a third place finish.  Not exactly lightning speed, but we’ll take it.  Thank you to all who participated –most of the classes had a great turnout – and thank you to the race committee who graciously let us go in early to enjoy the rest of our afternoon on shore.

Spring Series #7: Absolutely Fantastic Racing on the Potomac!

We had an amazing day for Spring Series #7!  Steady breeze at 10-15 from the South, four great races, and 8 Lightnings on the line!  Read Nabeel’s great summary of the day’s racing on the PRSA website and add your own comments.  Heather on the RC also took some great photos, including the ones below!

Team As You Wish Win Their First Regatta!

Congratulations to Team As You Wish for their fantastic win at the PRSA Spring Regatta!  Lisa-Marie sailed with Jim Lane and Christy Chen, and I have to say that they did an extraordinary day in some challenging conditions to beat out 6 other Lightnings and earn their first regatta win.  Great job all around — I know that the entire Fleet is thrilled for you!

As I mentioned, the conditions on Sunday were very challenging (after no racing on Saturday due to a total lack of wind).  The breeze was generally easterly in direction (!) and ranged from 5-10 knots, with some pretty big swings to the south with puffs and then lots of soft spots, and dead spots, throughout the course.  The RC sent us off on 4 O2 races (the only real choice given wind direction and river constraints), which put a premium on boathandling around the relatively short course as well as attention to finding clear air as one navigated around and through 4 other classes on the course.

Watching As You Wish throughout the day (from behind them for most of it!) I noticed how well they did in doing a couple of things: (a) not pinching, and (b) keeping their air clear, especially on the reach legs where boats tended to cluster a bit and it was very easy to get rolled.  It was a day that demanded persistence and patience, for sure.  On Beedobeat (sailing with Geoff and Quentin Bishop) we found ourselves able to get off the start line and up to the windward mark ahead in several races, especially once we figured out the advantage that came with going left early to get up current and get into better pressure.  But As You Wish and the rest of the pack were tenacious, and we did get rolled on a couple of the reach/run legs.

Overall the results were very tight, with As You Wish beating out Alex, Will, and Ed Lane on No Call, No Show in a tiebreaker for 1st, followed in 3rd by John Van Voorhis and David Keto on Shamrock just one point behind!  Congratulations once again to Lisa-Marie, Jim, and Christy for a great job and for a well-earned 1st regatta win!

SSA No Gas Regatta: Two Days of Great Annapolis Sailing

Sixteen boats turned out for the SSA No Gas Regatta in Annapolis for two days of great racing in Annapolis.  We had great Fleet 50 participation, with Nabeel (sailing with Chandler Owen, Russ Roberts, and Jeff Witten), Lisa-Marie Lane (sailing with Jim and Molly-Lynn Westrate), Aaron crewing for Rick Welch (along with Kin Ellot), and Bruce Heida (crewing for Greg Kelly)

The breeze was up a bit early on Saturday morning as we all rigged, but things settled down to a pretty steady 12-14 by the time we were racing.  We had some good runs in the first race with plenty of hiking and then things stabilized out a bit for 3 more great races, with the breeze tailing off towards the end of the 4th race such that we were stripping off foul weather gear as we headed back to the marina (see the fantastic photo from Ted Morgan, below, and more regatta photos here:

Sailing with Rick and Kin we made a concerted effort to have a plan for the first leg off the start (direction to go, when/whether to tack) and we did a fairly good job of executing that plan in most races.  Competition was tight in a very talented fleet, though, and an OCS in race 1 didn’t help our overall position after day 1.  Nonetheless, we had a blast, went fast, and enjoyed some great bbq & beer at SSA after the racing.

The breeze was forecast to be lighter on Sunday and that forecast held true, with winds in the 8-10 range for most of the day.  We again really focused on a plan, and on looking up the course for shifts and pressure.  We managed to get a few things right for some decent finishes (a 4 and a 6 among them) on Day 2.  After three races we were back on shore toasting the leaders and celebrating another No Gas (one with 7 races and very little power boat chop!) in the books.  Full results are posted here:  A great regatta all around, and great to have good Fleet 50 participation!

2017 Potomac Cup Results

What a great weekend!  With 6 great races in breezy conditions, a fantastic BBQ, great camping, and good fun all around, the 2017 Doc Gilbert Potomac Cup is in the books.  Congratulations to all the competitors and many, many thanks to all of the volunteers who helped make the regatta such a success.  Complete results are posted here and more photos will be posted soon.

And the winner is…

Thanks to all who joined us for the Fleet 50 Annual General Meeting & Awards Potluck last evening. I’m pleased to announce the winners of our skipper and crew awards as well as the 2017 Fleet 50 Board of Officers. The Fleet 50 Championship Series results are posted to the “Results” area of the website. Congratulations all around!

2016 Fleet Championship

  1. Nabeel Alsalam
  2. Aaron Boesenecker
  3. Bobby Astrove
  4. John Van Voorhis
  5. Bob Gotthardt

Crew Awards

Best New Crew: Christiam Camacho
Most Improved Crew: Ryan Huttar
High Impact Crew: Christy Chen

Skipper Awards

Team Sprit Skipper: Bob Gotthardt
Congeniality Award: Aaron Boesenecker
Skipper of the Year: Lisa-Marie Lane

Special Recognitions

Fleet Helper: Lindsay Bach

Performance Awards

Bloody Rudder: Lisa-Marie Lane
All Weather Sailor: Tom Hutton / Jim Lane (tie)
Iron Skipper: John Van Voorhis / Nabeel Alsalam (tie)
Most Improved Skipper: Aaron Boesenecker

You can read the details about the awards, some of the supporting statements for the nominees, and more in the 2017 AGM & Awards Banquet Agenda & Reports document.

2017 Board of Officers

Fleet Captain: Lisa-Marie Lane
Lieutenant for Racing: John Van Voorhis
Treasurer: Bob Gotthardt
Secretary: Geof Fuller
Webmaster: (pending–may merge website with PRSA site)
Potomac Cup Regatta Chair:

Looking forward to a great 2017 sailing season!

Fall Series #6: Beautiful Fall Sailing!

We had absolutely fantastic weather for Fall Series #6: light to moderate southerly breezes, temps in the 70s, and a nice clear sky.  This all worked out well for me on Beedobeat as I ended up sailing with Bill Parker, a college sailing friend of Connor Burke’s, who had plenty of sailing experience but was on a Lightning for the 1st time.  Bill was up front, and then we had in the middle another new sailor, Debra, sailing for first time ever on a sailboat!  The RC did a great job of getting us a number of races including some O2 courses that were quite nice given the wind velocity and angles.  We generally found that the left (channel) side of the course was favorable given wind and current, and that getting out there meant a bit of an advantage and fewer tacks to get to the windward mark.  Downwind a quick jibe towards the airport (on the run) was also favorable as it got you out of the current.  I just have to say that Debra did a stellar job flying the spinnaker all day (again, first time on a sailboat ever!!!) and Bill was a rockstar up front — we were able to do all of this in our first time ever sailing together, and I thought that this was amazing!  Scores are posted on the PRSA website.